Kentucky Bourbon Trail Part 14: Jim Beam

After dinner in downtown Louisville I didn’t want to go back to my hotel, so I started thinking about something a work colleague said about a Jim Beam location downtown. I looked it up on Google Maps and it was not only close, but open until 9 PM.

The name checks out: There’s a still downtown

The place was packed. Allegedly it’s because of the marathon that had been held that morning. Folks who ran it could buy a bottle of the bourbon distilled downtown and have it laser etched with the race logo and their completing time on the back for free.

Since I didn’t do that, I paid $6 for a tasting at that bar in the photo above.

Sample of 4

The fourth glass is a keepsake with the Urban Stillhouse logo on it. Goes well with the one from my visit to the American Stillhouse.

Three of the four samples

The bottle in the middle is a single barrel bourbon from the premises. They made sure to explain that it hasn’t been chill filtered because it’s only sold at this location. The explanation is that enzymes and fatty acids in the bourbon can turn normally clear bourbon cloudy when chilled, for instance with an ice cube. Apparently customers around the world consider that to be a sign of poor quality, so all the big names (and Jim Beam is quick to tell you they’re the biggest) chills the bourbon and filters out the offensive parts. Some purists believe that important flavors go with it. I don’t have a sensitive palate or nose, so I don’t really care. I can say that that sample was really good. Good enough I figured I’d leave with a bottle.

I waited in line forever to purchase a bottle. The cashier told me I could have one off the shelf or, for the same price, bottle my own. Naturally I opted for that.

Urban Stillhouse Select

It’s like an adult version of Build-A-Bear. You write the info on the label and affix it to the bottle.

Date and barrel serial number
Jim Beam Seal
Fill it yourself

The cavity to the left is the bottle wash (they use the same bourbon, of course) and then you position it and push the button. The glass vessel fills with the prescribed amount and you simply pull the lever to let gravity do it’s thing.

After pushing on the top, there is a seal that covers the top with a serial number on it. The guide gave me a ticket with that serial number on it and placed it on a carrier attached to a conveyor that runs overhead and deposited it behind the cashier. It’s so loud it seems like a poor choice for such cramped quarters, but it must be there for a reason.

When I went to pick it up, the colleague who told me about the place was at the cashier buying his own Build-A-Bourbon experience. What are the chances of that?

I filled this one. Guess who will empty it.

Fun times. I will probably be back before my time in Louisville concludes.

Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse <- I can’t find a link specific to this location
404 S 4th St
Louisville, KY 40202

Part 13 is here.

Part 15 is here.

~ Freddy


I'm an engineer, a veteran, and an avid traveler. I agree with Robert Louis Stevenson - "I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move."

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